General News of Friday, 10 February 2017
A seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, has expressed willingness to determine the case instituted against the General Legal Council (GLC) by the US based lawyer, Professor S. Kwaku Asare.
Prof. Asare is challenging the constitutionality of the selection methods and criteria used in the admission of LLB holders who desire to acquire licenses to practice law in Ghana.
The Supreme Court expressed its anger at claims that the panel members have been slow to decide the case because four senior members of the Court are on the GLC.
But the apex court assured that it was ready and able to do justice in this cause. The four members who are on the GLC are not part of the panel.
On October 15, 2015, Prof Asare filed a suit against the GLC and the Attorney-General over the way and manner the Ghana School of Law conducts its entrance exams and interviews for law students who want admission into the professional program.
Among others, he alleged that the GLC’s entrance exams and interviews violate Articles 11(7), 297(d), 297(b), 296(a)(b), 23 and 18(2) of the 1992 Constitution. The plaintiff also alleged that Regulation 3 of LI 1296 was unconstitutional for being void-for-vagueness.
While the Court’s rules required the AG and GLC to have responded by October 29, 2015, they responded on January 28, 2016 and April 14, 2016 respectively. In response to the defenses, the plaintiff, pursuant to a lief granted by the Court, filed an amended statement of case on June 15, 2016.
On 28th July 2016, the Court denied the plaintiff’s application to stop the GLC from holding the 2016 entrance examination.
When the panel sat on Friday, the GLC claimed that it had not been served with the plaintiff’s amended statement of case filed in June 2016 while the AG claimed it was in the process of filing an amended defense.
The presiding Judge ordered all the parties (GLC, AG and the APPLICANT) to clean up their records and also sanitize the records in the court. All parties are also to ensure that they serve each other with all necessary documents and file a joint memorandum of issues.
The Panel members, however, acknowledged the importance of the issues raised by the case and the public interest in seeing a quick resolution.